Openshift is a new app hosting service from RedHat which offers a great free package. Till now I’ve used Heroku to host some apps and its great but it doesn’t provide any free database (well it does but you’ll have to enter your credit card details which in India few people have). Also the filesystem of heroku is such that it refreshes every 24hrs deleting every thing except the repo. So heroku is great for testing but hosting something with somesort of a database is not possible unless you pay.

In comes Openshift to the rescue. It provides a 1GB filesystem which doesnot refresh and a free database which is quiet generous. So right now I’m trying to host a django app on Openshift and I’ll document the steps that I take here.


1.Create a python app using the web interface.

Or using the command line:

    rhc app-create mypythonapp python-2.7

2.Clone the source code.

Can get git url form your apps web console.

    git clone <your apps git repo url.>

3.Locally create a django app.

Now you can modify the source, but its better to start from scratch. So ceate a new django app:

    django-admin startproject mydjangoapp

4.Install gunicorn and set it up:

Follow the instructions on the gunicorn website to setup gunicorn:

    pip install gunicorn

5.Copy reqired files from cloned source.

Copy the following from the cloned source of your Openshift app to the root of the django app: .openshift,, requirements.txt

6.Generate the requirements file.

    pip freeze > requirements.txt

7.Ceate the file

OpenShift runs this file as the entry point into the app. We are using gunicorn so we need to start gunicorn server from here. To do this follow the instructions in the following links:

The final file will look something like this

from __future__ import unicode_literals
import os
import sys
import multiprocessing
from mydjangoapp import wsgi
from gunicorn.six import iteritems

# hack to make sure we can load as a module in this class
sys.path.insert(0, os.path.dirname(__file__))

virtenv = os.environ['OPENSHIFT_PYTHON_DIR'] + '/virtenv/'
virtualenv = os.path.join(virtenv, 'bin/')
    execfile(virtualenv, dict(__file__=virtualenv))
except IOError:

# Get the environment information we need to start the server
ip = os.environ['OPENSHIFT_PYTHON_IP']
port = int(os.environ['OPENSHIFT_PYTHON_PORT'])
host_name = os.environ['OPENSHIFT_GEAR_DNS']

def number_of_workers():
    return (multiprocessing.cpu_count() * 2) + 1

class StandaloneApplication(

    def __init__(self, app, options=None):
        self.options = options or {}
        self.application = app
        super(StandaloneApplication, self).__init__()

    def load_config(self):
        config = dict([(key, value) for key, value in iteritems(self.options)
                       if key in self.cfg.settings and value is not None])
        for key, value in iteritems(config):
            self.cfg.set(key.lower(), value)

    def load(self):
        return self.application

if __name__ == '__main__':
    options = {
        'bind': '%s:%s' % (ip, port),
        'workers': number_of_workers(),
    StandaloneApplication(wsgi.application, options).run()

8.Commit all the changes and push to Openshift

Commit all files in mydjangoapp to a git repo.

    git init

git add *

git commit -m'initial commit'

Then push this repo to Openshift

    git remote add openshift <git url of mypythonapp>

git push openshift

9.Adding environment variables if necessary

Follow the instructions here

And that should do the job.